Archive for September, 2008

Sep 27 2008

Now you really can see Russia from your house!

Published by under Digital,Politics,Russia,Tech

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… if you live on an uninhabited island in the middle of the Bering Strait, anyway.

Found this on FP Passport: a webcam on the (US) island of Little Diomede, which points at the (Russian) island of Big Diomede, or Ratmanov Island.

On a clear day the view’s rather good, too.

GetOneShot.jpeg

Slate helpfully points out that, thanks to the International Date Line, this webcam really does show you the future. Cool.

Off to France for a week – light blogging ahead.

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Sep 20 2008

Links of the Week

Published by under Digital,Media,Misc,Politics,Russia

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Lloyds is pants – but at least they rescued HBOS.

Man calls 911 over improperly prepared sandwich – Life imitates Python’s ‘good job I didn’t tell him about the dirty knife …’

10 reasons to stop calling yourself a blogger – David Armano talks more sense. Me? I’m not a blogger, I’m a person who happens to blog. I’d add a number 11, though. Mainstream media – and particularly the 24-hour news channels – talk about “bloggers” as if they’re this weird new kind of semi-journalist from Mars. It’s started to irk me.

Lord Norton on the concerning (or not) lack of public interest in our political processes – well it worries me, anyway.

Secret vodka pipeline into Estonia – you couldn’t make this up.

Dad-o-Matic – Dads blogging. Definitely one for my Google reader.

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Sep 16 2008

I can see Russia from my house!

Published by under Media,Politics,Russia

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After last week’s Charlie and Lola-esque interview comes this joint “Sarah” / “Hillary” broadcast, from Saturday Night Live:

Say what you like about the US election, it’s anything but boring. And there are countries where you just couldn’t get away with comedy like this.

H/T LA Times, via Redtape

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Sep 11 2008

My three inspirational communicators

Published by under Comms,Media,Music,Politics,Russia

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Simon Wakeman has tagged me for the ‘Three Inspirational Communicators’ meme. Which, if nothing else, does at least prove that someone reads this blog. In fact, Simon, wasn’t it you who tagged me for ‘Five Things’ at the end of last year?

I quite like this meme – good call to Andy Wake for starting it. We all draw our influences from somewhere. Our influencers might be people we’ve worked, with, family members, people in the public eye – just about anyone, really. I’ve had a good long think about mine. Remember, these are my three inspirational communicators. I don’t necessarily expect everyone to agree. So, in no particular order, and with a quote from each:

RoaldDahl.jpg1 – Roald Dahl. Wonderful, compelling stories which so completely involve and envelop you, no matter how old you are. The two autobiographies are even better than the fiction.

A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.

And doesn’t this apply, to some extent, to all of us?

questionImage.thumbnail.8dpTXY9gKpfou92J298477pCdLK5aB.jpg2 – CJ Cregg. There had to be a West Wing character in here somewhere. Jed Bartlett and Matt Santos and Josh Lyman all made the shortlist, but in the end there’s one clear winner: CJ.

Reporter: I think the question was, was he physically and emotionally prepared to make a life and death decision after what he’d just been through?

CJ: : He’d been through a TV interview and a press conference. The President finds you all annoying, but not prohibitively debilitating.

Sometimes, every now and then, my profession delivers up the occasional “West Wing Moment”. And I get to play at being CJ. It rocks.

images.jpeg3 – Bob Geldof. He never actually said “Give us your f*cking money”. But he could have said it, should have said it. What Geldof did achieve, though, was to invent a whole new genre – getting his message across rather forcefully in the process.  95% of the world’s TV sets, if you believe the hype, were tuned to Live Aid. That’s pretty inspirational.

We live in a broken world which has never been healthier, wealthier or bizarrely, free of conflict, but some 500 kilometers south of here they die of want … It’s not only intellectually absurd, but also morally repulsive.

And here are the 10 runners-up, again in no particular order:

Cartwright
Ferrabee
Shapiro
Zimmerman
Jobs
Mandela
Williams
Politkovskaya
Ford
Adama

Now for the fun bit – my turn to tag three more people.  Charles, David, Emma – you’re it.

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Sep 08 2008

In with the LinkedIn crowd

Published by under Digital,Tech

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Simon Dickson wondered, earlier today:

simond isn’t putting any effort into LinkedIn. Should I be?

Good question, and one I’ve asked myself on occasion recently. Not that I’ve been losing sleep over it, but all the cool kids seem to be using it. So a few weeks ago I signed up. Bit of a palaver, but I got there in the end. And until today, I don’t think I’d looked at it since.

Simon’s tweet prompted me to take another look. I still can’t really see that it’s worth the effort.

My issue, I guess is that I’m not (a) looking for a job, (b) looking to hire, or (c) looking to sell my services. I like my job, I don’t plan on looking for another one for at least a year or two, and (thankfully) I don’t have any gaps in my team. And as far as my ‘clients’ are concerned, I’m a very happy monopolist.

So what am I missing?

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Sep 05 2008

The sincerest form of flattery

Published by under Media,Politics

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metro.jpg

From Mark Pinsent’s “Another Flamin’ Blog”, Wednesday 3rd September:

Palin into insignificance?

Front page of today’s Metro:

Palin into significance?

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Sep 02 2008

Yes, but why?

Published by under Digital,Misc,Tech

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Incoming link the other day from remmrit.com – apparently my post highlighting some of the problems with me.com has been tagged under ‘hacking’. Well OK, thanks for the link, even if ‘hacking’ doesn’t really apply to the post in question – perhaps ‘MacBook Nano’, a couple of weeks later, is more relevant.

The point is, though, aren’t there enough social bookmarking sites out there already? Digg, reddit, stumbleupon … I mean, the addthis.com button at the bottom of each of my posts gives you a choice of thirty-four (yes, 34) social bookmarking / link sharing options. Do we really need another one?

Remmrit’s strapline is ‘Social Bookmarking made easier’. Sure, but it wasn’t that difficult to start with. I’m not convinced that adding another option to the already crowded array of options is necessarily an improvement.

To the guys at remmrit.com, I hope it works out for you. I hope you manage to get sufficient advertising revenue to sustain your business model. In the meantime, though, you might want to sort your SEO – a google blogsearch for ‘remmrit’ throws up six results, and three of those are for porn ‘splogs’ …

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